‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ was on my list for a long time, but since I fell out of my reading habit, I didn’t get to read it. Until now. Admittedly, I was skeptical at first because the idea of commissioning an author to finish what the original, though unfortunately deceased, one started is still strange to me. Still, I couldn’t resist coming back to these amazing characters.
The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson is a great trio of unique and distinct stories revolving around the protagonists Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. It gained international acclaim for its unique prose and dynamic characters. Lisbeth Salander is, in my opinion, one of the best characters created in modern literature. David Lagercrantz had huge footsteps to follow and though he did play it safe, this book definitely did justice to the characters.
In terms of storytelling, I’ve always appreciated how realistic and unpolished Scandanavian crime fiction can be and while Lagercrantz still had some of that style, he made ‘Spider’s Web’ slightly more polished than the originals. Of course, I’m not saying he betrayed Larsson’s characters in any way. ‘Spider’s Web’ saw a lot of great character development for the old and the new characters alike. It introduced great characters, like Frans and August Balder and is a great story overall.
All the main plots and the subplots in this book were well developed and had satisfying conclusions. Most of the strings were tied up neatly and the ones left hanging just created suspense for a potential next story. Most importantly, Lisbeth Salander defied all odds and became a stronger character.
The core of Lisbeth’s character is that she is a woman who hates men who hate woman. On top of that, she has a severe mistrust of powerful authorities. ‘Spider’s Web’ expanded on her character by presenting her with a child who happens to be an autistic savant. Although we already know she has strong principles that she will fight for relentlessly, we haven’t gotten to see her express pure empathy and protective capabilities to something so innocent as a child. We saw her motherly characteristics in ‘Spider’s Web’ and while this is usually used against female characters in the larger feminist conversations, it only makes her stronger. It is her fierce drive to take care of the people she loves that makes her our superhero. She helps create happy, just endings and that is the most difficult of all.
Overall, this is a solid continuation of the Millennium trilogy. This story isn’t too daring and doesn’t give us the twists and turns of Larsson’s work. However, it helps develop Salander’s character further and introduces an interesting story and a new dimension of her life. If you fell in love with the characters of the Millennium trilogy, you’ll surely appreciate this book.